FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Terror Target Nukes

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

Within a matter of days Congressional back-room deals may rubber stamp huge taxpayer loan guarantees to build dozens of what amount to pre-deployed “dirty bombs” for terrorists.

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, showed that atomic power plants are supremely vulnerable. The first jet that hit the World Trade Center flew directly over Indian Point, whose two active reactors—plus one more that’s retired—sit next to some very fragile high-level waste storage pools.

Had that first jet hit Indian Point, 35 miles north of Manhattan, with tens of millions of Americans closely downwind, the devastation would have been unimaginable. In fact, the 9/11 Commission found that Al Quaeda at one point considered crashing two planes into two nuclear facilities as part of its original plan.

Yet Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) is trying desperately to force taxpayers to underwrite $50 billion and more in loans to build still more of these radioactive bulls-eyes. A decision to include these provisions in the Energy Bill may be made as you read this, which is why safe energy advocates are asking citizens to flood Congress with calls, demanding the provisions be removed.

There is effectively nothing that can protect an atomic power plant from a terror attack. After 9/11, a global internet debate erupted over whether a jet could penetrate a reactor containment dome. Fortunately, there is no experimental datayet.

But at very least more than two dozen early reactor domes, including Indian Point’s, were never required to withstand a jet crash. They were designed in the 1960s with no anticipation of the much bigger planes now filling our skies. There is nothing to indicate they could withstand the kind of impact or fire that hit the WTC towers.

It would not be necessary for terrorists to hijack another jet, since Osama bin Laden among others has more than enough money to buy his own.

Nor would they need to penetrate a containment. The impact and fire alone on or near a reactor could devastate pipes, pumps, cooling systems, electronic controls, human operators, off-site power and communications, and any number of additional vital pressure points capable of causing a melt-down.

Chernobyl did explode in 1986, and Michigan’s Fermi I fast breeder almost did so in 1966. In 1979, Three Mile Island faced the possibility of a hydrogen explosion. But its lethal radiation, which killed people and animals nearby, vented through stacks that remained intact throughout the disaster.

Arizona’s entire three-reactor Palo Verde complex was recently shut because a single worker had what may have been a pipe bomb in his car.

All these events highlight the vulnerability of any society dependent on nuke power for its energy. A recent earthquake in Japan forced shut seven reactors in a single moment. The US now has 104 such plants generating some 20% of our electricity. Many are also near earthquake faults. All are vulnerable individually and as a fleet to a terror shut-down without a moment’s notice.

Domenici’s loan plan has been denounced by nearly every major environmental group in the United States, along with taxpayer groups and free marketeers such as the Cato Institute and Forbes Magazine, plus Congressional conservatives concerned about the budget process.

Domenici and his neo-con cohorts have been clear in their willingness to shred the Constitution in the name of national security.

But they would simultaneously force us to underwrite easily ignitable engines of radioactive mass destruction pre-deployed on our own soil.

The decision on whether these radioactive loan guarantees will be in the Energy Bill is being made as you read this. Call the Congressional leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and tell them these bailouts for terror-target nukes must be stopped. NOW!

HARVEY WASSERMAN, a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy, is editing the nukefree.org web site. He is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw@aol.com

 

 

 

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull, 500 Years of Trauma
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Gordon Smith
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
stclair
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered, Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail